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Rebels kill at least 30 people in eastern Congo town, mayor says, amid resurgence of activity

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KINSHASA, Congo — Rebels crept into houses and attacked civilians, killing at least 30 people around the town of Beni in eastern Congo, a local mayor said Thursday.

Members of the Allied Defense Forces attacked late Wednesday near the town which is about 400 kilometers from the North Kivu provincial capital of Goma, said mayor Nyonyi Bwana Kawa.

"We have found 30 bodies and have at this point buried them. It was the Ugandan ADF rebels who attacked these peripheral neighborhoods of Beni," he said.

Last week the rebel group had killed about nine people in Oicha in Congo's North Kivu Province.

There has been a resurgence of rebel activity in northeast Congo, a hotbed of separatist rebels.

The Maimai-Simba group attacked a remote village in the northeast last week abducting 40 women and seven boys, according to a U.N. peacekeeping mission spokesman Lt. Col. Felix Prosper Basse. The rebels pillaged the area causing many to flee the village, which is seven days walk from the regional center of Mambasa, he added, saying that the rebels were seeking to control mining in the area.

Eastern Congo is home to a myriad of armed groups and militias, many vying for control of the region's vast mineral resources. Many of the rebel groups sowing unrest there originate in other countries in the region, including Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda.

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